Here we go again. Figured I'd do a post free agency mock draft. Ill probably do one more right before the draft. Again this my own opinion, I'm not a draft analyst and I won't pretend to be. Have it at:
Round 1 – Sammy Watkins (WR – Clemson): The Jaguars could honestly go one of five different ways here. If Clowney is here I could easily see him being the selection but it’s hard to see him drop past #2 at this point. As for QB, Caldwell has stated he thinks none of the QBs are ready to start right away and I take him at his word and think they will opt to draft a QB later on. Enter Sammy Watkins. The Jaguars need to upgrade the offense in a big way and outside of a QB, nothing will help that more than a big time playmaker like Watkins. Many people don’t realize how big of a need WR really is for the Jaguars. Cecil Shorts has yet to play 16 games in a season and is in a contract year. Justin Blackmon is a giant question mark and can’t be counted on to be playing this season. While Ace Sanders showed great promise in his rookie year, he is best suited as a slot wide receiver. Other than those listed there really isn’t any other WR on the roster that is lock to make the team. Adding Watkins would give the Jaguars a great outside wide receiver who could add a spark to the lifeless Jaguars offense.
Round 2 – Marcus Martin (C – USC): The fact that the Jaguars need to address their interior offensive line isn’t a matter of if as it is a matter of when. Even with this being a deep draft for offensive talent I see the Jaguars drafting a guard or a center early on to make sure they get a starting caliber player for Week 1. In the second round I feel like Martin would be a great pick for the Jaguars as he is one of the top centers in the draft as he has the perfect NFL build, quickness, and has drawn comparisons to Alex Mack. He also played guard for two years in college which gives him some versatility. To me, he is a plug and play kind of player who could step in and assume a starting roll right away.
Round 3 – David Fales (QB – San Jose State): At some point the Jaguars need to take a stab at a QB. While I see them bypassing some of the earlier QBs, I feel like the third round is where they will take their signal caller if the value is right. Enter Fales who the Jaguars have worked extensively with during the Senior Bowl and should be available at the start of the third. While Fales lacks top tier arm strength, he is a hard worker who has solid mechanics and great football IQ. His ability to make quick decisions and throws makes him a great fit for the Jaguars offense. Though unlikely that he would start right away, he would easily offer solid competition to Henne and give the Jaguars at worst a capable back-up in year one.
Round 4 – Chris Smith (DE – Arkansas): Even with the additions of Chris Clemons and Red Bryant, the Jaguars should try to add more pass rushers. Chris Smith is an interesting prospect who could possibly be available for the Jaguars here at the start of the fourth round. Smith is considering by many as a tweener between OLB and DE but might work well as situational pass rusher for the Jaguars. He has a solid burst, good closing speed and is a strong tackler but is poor in coverage can be slow off the line out of a three point stance. Overall he’s a project but worth it here in the fourth.
Round 4 – Anthony Steen (G – Alabama): Once again I think the Jaguars will take a long look at Steen and possibly pick him up here. While he is weak in pass protection, Steen is a great run blocker who was able to open up a lot of holes for the Alabama RBs in recent years. Steen would immediately enter the RG competition and could win that spot sooner rather than later. Worst case scenario is that he provides solid OL depth.
Round 5 – Adrian Hubbard (LB – Alabama): The Jaguars added Dakoda Watson through FA but the Jaguars could easily use more LB depth and talent. Hubbard’s draft stock seems to have tumbled this past year and now projects to be a mid round prospect. Hubbard is okay in most areas but great at none of them and will most likely be a project in the NFL. That being said he has played against top level competition in college (something Caldwell likes) and he has great size (6’6, 257lbs) which means he could develop into a solid NFL starter someday with some work.
Round 5 – Dri Archer (RB/WR – Kent State): Archer’s combine performance has put him on the national media radar in recent weeks. Archer spent most of college as a RB but many think he can transition to a slot WR role in the NFL. The Jaguars said last year that they want to make this team faster and Archer would offer them that. Gus Bradley has also mentioned repeatedly that he would love to have a Darren Sproles type player and that they moved Ace Sanders there last year. Archer could potentially fill that role as he has solid hands, speed and experience at the RB position. At worst Archer would give the Jaguars a developmental playmaker to hold onto but who could also contribute on special teams right away.
Round 5 – Charles Leno (OT/G – Boise State): Even after taking a guard and a center already I could see the Jaguars continuing to add bodies on the OL. Leno has solid athleticism and balance but lacks lower body strength and needs to work on his fundamentals. He, like most Day 3 players, is a project that has a chance to develop into a contributor on the OL but will need time and coaching. Adding Leno would give the Jaguars another young OL that could compete for the RG spot but more than likely simply provide solid depth while he attempts to grow and learn.
Round 6 – Tre Boston (DB – UNC): While Caldwell has stated that they like where the secondary is at and will likely avoid making any major changes; I could easily see the Jaguars using one of their many mid round picks on a another DB for depth. What makes Boston an interesting prospect is his ability to play either CB or S. He has the physical tools to be an NFL DB but has poor awareness and is a liability in run support. He’s a project that will likely take a lot of coaching in order to be ready to play at the NFL level but given his physical tools is worth on Day 3.
Round 6 – Crockett Gilmore (TE – Colorado State): Even with the resigning of Clay Harbor the Jaguars need to add more depth at TE. This is evident by their attempt to sign Ed Dickson. Enter Gilmore who was a late addition to the Senior Bowl but impressed during his week there. Known more for his blocking ability (something the Jaguars need as Harbor is a pass catcher only), Gilmore showed some solid pass catching ability throughout Senior Bowl week. With the Senior Bowl connection I could easily see the Jaguars drafting Gilmore for TE depth and his potential to grow.
7th Round: Jeff Mathews (QB – Cornell): The chances that the Jaguars double up on drafting QB’s was already high and Khan’s recent comments simply reinforce that. Matthews had a strong showing at the East-West Shrine Game and would easily warrant a late round flier. Matthews has arm talent and seems to be a solid at reading defenses but still has a lot of work to do to be NFL ready. If Mettenberger is still recovering from his ACL injury to start the season, Matthews could end up being the Jaguars back-up QB to start the season assuming the Jaguars move on from Gabbert. Worst case is he battles Matt Scott and Ricky Stanzi for the 3rd string job or gets placed on the practice squad.